Felon of­fers to help po­lice with Zim­mer­mann case but wants par­don, guns in re­turn for tes­ti­mony

Wisconsin Gazette - - Front Page - By Jay Rath

A Cross Plains man says he can help law en­force­ment in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the 2008 killing of col­lege stu­dent Brit­tany Zim­mer­mann, but in ex­change he wants a pres­i­den­tial par­don and the re­turn of 19 guns con­fis­cated more than two years ago.

An­drew J. Scoles has told author­i­ties that David A. Kahl, a for­mer room­mate iden­ti­fied as a sus­pect in the Zim­mer­mann case, told him de­tails of the day the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin se­nior died.

How­ever, Scoles has re­fused to say more with­out a deal, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal.

The news­pa­per said Scoles wants two felony con­vic­tions ex­punged from his record — a 2010 con­vic­tion for mar­i­juana and a 2014 fed­eral con­vic­tion for pos­ses­sion of firearms as a felon.

To ex­punge the fed­eral con­vic­tion, Scoles would need to win a pres­i­den­tial par­don, the State Jour­nal re­ported.

Zim­mer­mann, 21, was killed in her down­town apart­ment April 2, 2008.

Kahl is im­pris­oned at the Dodge Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion in Waupun, where he is serv­ing time for his sev­enth con­vic­tion for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

Kahl has told author­i­ties that he en­coun­tered Zim­mer­mann the day she died, be­cause he and two other men — iden­ti­fied as “Hank” and “Mitchell” — were look­ing for money to buy drugs in her neigh­bor­hood.

Scoles, 38, has re­cently re­peated a claim he made Dec. 17, 2014, while serv­ing time at Gilmer Fed­eral Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion in West Vir­ginia.

Ac­cord­ing to a search war­rant, Scoles told a Madi­son po­lice de­tec­tive in 2014 that he and Kahl were as close as broth­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Scoles, Kahl “broke down in tears one morn­ing and con­fessed to me what all hap­pened, if I can re­mem­ber right. Hy­po­thet­i­cally he broke down and told me what all hap­pened,” the State Jour­nal re­ported.

Scoles has de­clined to say more “with­out get­ting some deal that would ben­e­fit him in ex­change.”

Scoles was sentenced to 20 months in fed­eral prison, fol­lowed by a three-year term of su­per­vised re­lease for un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of firearms as a felon.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Bureau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco and Firearms, Scoles pur­chased two boxes of Weatherby .300 Mag­num am­mu­ni­tion, on Dec. 22, 2013.

At the time, he was on pro­ba­tion in Green County for mis­de­meanor con­vic­tions and un­der a do­mes­tic abuse in­junc­tion, which pro­hib­ited him from pos­sess­ing firearms or am­mu­ni­tion un­der fed­eral law.

A search of Scoles' res­i­dence Jan. 22, 2014, un­cov­ered 19 firearms and sev­eral hun­dred rounds of am­mu­ni­tion.

Ear­lier this month, Scoles ap­peared in Dane County Cir­cuit Court on a state charge of pos­sess­ing a gun as a felon.

Zim­mer­mann's mother said she urged Scoles — and any­one else with in­for­ma­tion pos­si­bly re­lated to the 2008 killing — to talk with author­i­ties.

“If any­one, in­clud­ing Mr. Scoles, has in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the per­son or per­sons who took Brit­tany's life, they need to do what is right and con­tact the Madi­son Po­lice Depart­ment,” said Jean Zim­mer­mann.

“Mr. Scoles states that he is a `good per­son.' If that were the case, he would have come for­ward with the in­for­ma­tion that David Kahl (al­legedly) shared with him and that would be the first step in the president grant­ing him his par­don.”

The Madi­son Po­lice Depart­ment will not com­ment on an open in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Scoles was not reached for com­ment. There is a $40,000 re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to an ar­rest and con­vic­tion in Zim­mer­mann's death.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is urged to con­tact Madi­son Area Crime Stop­pers, 608-266-6014 or madis­onareacrimestop­pers.org.

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